Poll: Do you mosaic faster than you used to?

loribee2July 17, 2012

I've been doing a ton of mosaic lately. It occurred to me today that I'm having an easier time "seeing" the shapes I need to cut the more I do it. I don't know if that makes sense.

As we all know, mosaic is a lot harder than it looks. I equate it to doing puzzles, but you have to make your own pieces. I used to have a hard time nipping the shape I need. I'd think I had the shape I needed, then realize I didn't cut the angle in the right direction, or something like that. But the more I do, the easier time I'm having with that. Which is nice, because it makes the process faster.

I'm just curious if you all found this true for yourselves. Have you noticed quite an improvement in your speed and technique as you keep at it?

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silvamae

Yes, when I think back twelve or more years ago, I had no grasp of the technique of nipping and I also remember that I injured myself more often. (Knock on wood - it's been ages since I cut my hand on glass.) Just like any other endeavor, we become more and more proficient the more practice we have. In addition, I am always learning something new from reading other's blogs and comments. I seem to spend a lot more time deciding on what to do, though. That may be because I am always thinking about doing larger and more difficult things.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 11:54AM
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wackyweeder

Im way faster than I used to be, I used to be very very slow.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 5:21PM
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loribee2

I'm going to have to track down some mosaic blogs. I follow yours, SILVA, and enjoy the things you post. I never thought to look for more. One can only learn so much reading the books.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 9:12PM
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drtdgr

I'm glad you posted this topic, loribee. I was thinking of posting something similar because I am soo sloow making mosaics I'm beginning to think I have some sort of weird shape dyslexia.

I have difficulty shaping curves, until I finally figured to use trapezoids. When was the last time I used "trapezoid" in a sentence, for crying out loud? Thirty five years ago?

I didn't hold the nippers correctly, and got all these squiggly shapes and sharp shards. I kept on thinking to myself, this doesn't seem right.

And design. I like to draw my own stuff, and translating it to mosaic form is, well, I can't even describe what my brain goes through. I get an idea, look up a pleasing picture or photo on the internet, and draw it realistically.

Then I go back and draw it like a cartoon. And the most painful part is all the changes I make in the meantime. Fortunately, most changes made are to my benefit.

All the choices are overwhelming - what type tesserae, what direction to put the opus, placement, color.
I want to thank you all for your inspiration and now hope that things will eventually speed up. I've been doing this for about three months.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 10:03PM
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loribee2

Oh, it will definitely get easier. I've been doing mosaic for about 2 years, and I think the learning curve is pretty steep during that period. I think you just have to keep doing it.

It's taken me a while, but I am starting to really "get" how to use pattern to make things easier on myself. I'm also forcing myself to accept that there is such a thing as "good enough". I have a habit of trying too hard for total perfection when I'm gluing my pieces, only to find that the grout either covers up little flaws or fixes them.

I also have a couple books on mosaics with lots of great color photographs. Often, after I've worked on a piece, I'll pick up one of the books and really study the patterns, see how they made those shapes. Slowly over time, what I'm looking at in the pictures starts sinking in to my brain. Practice and repetition seem to be helping me a lot, though I'll glom onto any tips I can get! LOL

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 1:08AM
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